Nov. 4—Beachwood vs. Cardinal Mooney
What: Division II regional final
When: 4 p.m., Nov. 5
Where: Warren Howland, 200 Shaffer Drive Northeast
Records: Beachwood 17-2-1, Cardinal Mooney 16-3-1
What’s next: The winner advances to a state semifinal Nov. 9 against Ottawa Hills or Ottoville at a time and site to be determined.
Beachwood boys soccer: Bison book first elite-eight berth since 2015 with 2-1 extra-time win over Norwayne
What to look for: Beachwood is now the lone News-Herald coverage area side — boys or girls — remaining in the postseason. As Wickliffe can attest following its 4-0 loss to Cardinal Mooney in a D-III regional semifinal, this will be a tall order for the Bison. … Grant Keilin’s extra-time strike from distance sent Beachwood to the elite eight for the first time since 2015 with a 2-1 win over Norwayne in a D-III regional semi at Ravenna on Nov. 2. The sophomore’s growth as a commanding playmaker in the middle of the park has been fun to watch, and he’s now up to 26 goals and eight assists on the fall. … Luke Bennett’s versatility and comfort at center back helps Beachwood build out of the defensive third with confidence. Goalkeeper Josh Rosenblitt had a quality point-blank stop in the Norwayne match, displaying his continued development as well. … Ozan Sasmaz (14-6) also provides finishing knack in addition to Keilin. … But what makes this Bison side especially dangerous is having multiple options as table setters, with five players having at least six assists including Gui Kliger (3-6), Jonathan Mo (1-6) and Leo Blond (0-7). That through ball can come from a number of spots on the pitch, so man-marking Keilin doesn’t necessarily shut down the attack. … The Cardinals are a load, physical in midfield and serving their first ball consistently with intent. Mason Janis (14-5) and Nick Pregibon (15-2), who had a hat trick against the Blue Devils, are the primary finishers. But what gives Mooney diversity into the offensive third is sophomore Aidan Hryb (11-10). His width and 1v1 skill can open up an opposing side’s defensive shape. … Beachwood will need to play into space wide through Michael Keselman (4-2) and others to test the Cardinals’ outside backs and operate with its typical quickness in combination play. A timely switch or two would also be helpful. … It’s probably safe to assume Beachwood coach Brian Greene will confer with Wickliffe counterpart Dominik Severino and pick his brain on how to try and overcome this great side. … Mooney will be a deserved favorite here, but the Bison have the quality to hang around and make it interesting — possibly more — in search of their first state final four berth.
Beachwood vs. Kirtland boys soccer: Bison continue record-setting campaign with district final shootout thriller